2nd annual Bernard Blues and BBQ this weekend

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CULLMAN – The second annual Bernard Blues and BBQ Arts, Crafts and Music Festival is set for this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8-9, on the grounds of St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School. The event will feature some of the best artisans in the Southeast, with goods including pottery, wreaths, door hangers, flowers, wood turned bowls, clothing, birdhouses, honey, jewelry, soap, brooms, metal art, glass art, freshly ground cornmeal and grits and more.

Live music will kick off the event Saturday, Sept. 8 with the St. Bernard choir at 9 a.m. and at noon the Blues Hammer Band. Guests can enjoy the best pulled pork in the Southeast as well as tasty ribs, hamburgers, brats and chicken wings.

Music on Sunday, Sept. 9 will kick off with Sweet Licks Dixieland Jazz roaming the campus from 10 a.m. until noon, followed by DE JA’ Blue Horns at noon and Bama Blu-Grace at 2 p.m.

Festival Director Joyce Nix said the festival has landed nationally-known and local sponsors to enhance the quality of the event. Johnsonville’s Big Taste Grill is on tour and stopping at Bernard Blues and BBQ. Grillmaster Jay will be grilling up goodwill and raising money for St. Bernard Preparatory School.

“We are so excited to be selected as part of this tour,” Nix said.  “We can’t wait to showcase the magnitude of this massive grill.”

Weighing more than 53,000 pounds and measuring 90 feet long, the semi-turned-grill is equipped with four grills, hot and cold running water, electricity, a sound system, a prep station and a refrigeration unit. The Johnsonville Big Taste Grill has the capacity to cook more than 750 brats at a time—approximately 2,500 per hour—and can accommodate more than 12 “grillmasters.”

The Johnsonville Big Taste Grill staff consists of the driver and two grillmasters.  St. Bernard’s staff of volunteers will assist in the sale of Johnsonville Ultimate Brats or the Better with Cheddar Brats.

Frank's RedHot sauce has joined as a Hogfather sponsor as well. Teaming up with Tyson, the school and Frank's RedHot will be serving up chicken wings.

Freddie Day Catering is bringing the party to St. Bernard as well; he has a growing reputation in the north Alabama region for serving up delicious pulled pork, barbecue and ribs.  

“Everything we do at St. Bernard depends on community support,” Nix said.  In addition to the aforementioned sponsors, other sponsors include:  Eidson & Associates, Bill Smith GMC, Cullman Chrysler Dodge, Eckenrod Ford, Pepsi, Mitch Smith Chevrolet, Leaffilter, Billy Ray Taylor Auto Sales, Merchants Bank, Cullman Jefferson Gas, Tyson, Citizens Bank,  Petro Dodge City Travel Center, and Wal-Mart Distribution #6006. Feel free to bring a lawn chair and enjoy the music!"

At the close of the festival on Sunday, the school will give away more than $10,000 in cash prizes. All proceeds benefit the work of education at St. Bernard Prep School – a co-ed residential and day school for grades 7-12.

An admission donation of $5 is requested at the gate. Children 5 and younger get in free.

For more information contact the school at 256-739-6682 or visit www.facebook.com/bernardbluesandbbq.